Chapter 6: Place branding and locational decisions: Taking a behavioural economics perspective?
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Places are perceived as being increasingly in competition for residents, visitors, inward investment etc. In this chapter, we consider the potential of the discipline of behavioural economics in explaining the locational choices made by individuals in response to the associated marketing/branding activities that are used to enhance the attractiveness of places by those responsible for their management. In examining the nature of peoples’ place choices, we focus particularly on the heuristics and biases - which can be thought of in terms of ‘cognitive shortcuts’ - that may influence decision-making processes. This is in contrast to neo-classical economists’ view of ‘homo economicus’, making optimally rational decisions which deliver maximum personal utility. We conclude by outlining a potential research agenda for further academic inquiry into locational decisions.

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